I know code allows open risers but I am trying to find more definitive information on safe design. As usual, opinion and anecdote is easy to find but I haven't seen a more academic/scientific look at, for example, accidents and the presence/absence of risers (though of course, 'correlation does not imply causation').

edit: I found related information on pubmed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26203488) regarding highlighting the edge of the step to improve gait on the staircase. This concept could be applied to my question if the open riser provided contrast to the stair itself. Unknown whether the open riser itself causes issues (e.g., foot catching in the open space).

  • Whatever you do, don't make the whole thing transparent (like they tried at Apple).
    – user67695
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 19:24
  • There seems to be some confusion between what I would call a 'riser' and something to do with a stairway out in the open without sides on it. Please would you define / explain what you mean and what you are looking for?
    – user67695
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


Yes, enter image description here

if you look at the paper from McCann you can see that Falls is the number one reason of death in escalators (that are open riser).

  • 3
    Escalators/elevators don't appear to have anything to do with the question... this is what I understand by "open risers". (But then I don't really understand what the question has to do with UX...)
    – TripeHound
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 9:53
  • Stair UX would fit in architecture too yes Commented May 22, 2017 at 10:28
  • 1
    I can't imagine how an escalator could possibly have open risers. Please would you explain this? An open riser on ordinary stairs would seem to cause a "Caught In Between " accident, not a Fall. Elevators do not have risers, because... they are not stairs. I searched the McCann document that was linked, and the word 'riser' does not appear in it. So...?
    – user67695
    Commented May 22, 2017 at 19:16
  • 1
    Yes, @TripeHound is correct about open risers on stairs. And yes, this is an architectural UX question.
    – MrFinn
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 15:48
  • 1
    Wow. Please post a photo of an escalator with open risers. Can't even imagine what that could possibly look like.
    – user67695
    Commented May 26, 2017 at 19:12

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